France and Germany have developed their own water pollution policies which combine to varying degrees incentives-based instruments and effluent limits. However, organisational traditions as well as demographic and geographical particularities have led to the implementation of different arrangements between regulatory tools. In this paper, we first describe both of the systems. In a practical case we then compare the financial burden a firm would bear in France and Germany. We conclude that, in Germany, the system provides more incentives. Classification JEL : D62, H21, Q25.